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February 20th 2017 print

Roger Franklin

McGeough’s Curious Lack of Curiosity

Fairfax's star correspondent shares with his readers the shocking news that 35 mental health practitioners believe Donald Trump is a loony and unfit to occupy the White House. Don't you think he should also have noted that two-thirds are ardent Democratic Party contributors and partisans?

mcgeoughIn The Australian today, columnist Mark Day (paywalled) notes in passing that Fairfax Media’s US correspondent, Paul McGeough, contributes a steady stream of copy from Washington that “reads like a personal vendetta against Donald Trump.” It is a timely observation as McGeough was at it again this very morning, passing along to remaining readers of the Age and Sydney Morning Herald the view of 35 psychiatrists, psychologists, doctors and social workers who have diagnosed Trump as a loony unfit to occupy the White House.

McGeough doesn’t mention the mental health experts by name, but they are easy to find with a quick Google search. Also easy to find, thanks to the Open Secrets website, are the political causes and candidates to which and to whom these diagnosticians-from-a-distance have contributed.

Well guess what — Surprise! Surprise! — of the head-shrinking 35, roughly two-thirds are generous and frequent financial supporters of Democrats in general and Hillary Clinton in particular.

Of the signatories only one — yes, just one — has donated to a Republican, but his money went to Senator John McCain, who  detests Trump with a vehemence that even Hillary Clinton might find hard to match.

Below, the full list of signatories with the recipients of their largesse listed beneath each name. Quadrant Online readers might care to click on their names and view the details of their various and many donations.

Lance Dodes
Barack Obama

Joseph Schachter
Moveon, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders

Susan Radant
Hillary Clinton

Judith Schachter
Hillary Clinton, Democratic National Committee, Emily’s List

Jules Kerman
No record of specific contributions

Jeffrey Seitelman
No record to contributions, but has signed a petition declaring Trump a mentally troubled fascist.

Henry Friedman
Repeated four-figure contributor to Hillary Clinton

Babak Roshanaei-Moghaddam
No record of specific contributions

David Cooper
No record of specific contributions that can be easily found among the very many David Coopers

Dena Sorbo
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

Joseph Reppen
No record of specific contributions

Ernest Wallwork
No record of specific contributions

Judith Vida-Spence
Hillary Clinton, DNC, Barack Obama

Richard Reichbart
No record of specific contributions

Joseph Abrahams
Democrats

Leslie Schweitzer-Miller
No record of specific donations, but signatory to a group letter identifying Trump as a fascist

Cheryl Goodrich
Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama,

Lourdes Henares-Levy
No record of specific contributions

Alexandra Rolde
Hillary Clinton

Helen Schoenhals Hart
No record of specific contributions

Eva D. Papiasvili
No record of specific contributions

Mali Mann
Hillary Clinton, DNC, Move On

Phyllis Tyson
Hillary Clinton,DNC,  plus sundry Democrats

Era Lowenstein
Democratic Senatorial Committee

Marianna Adler
Sundry Democrats

Henry Nunberg
Many, many Democrats and the DNC

Marc R. Hirsch
No record of specific contributions

Lora Heims Tessman
No record of specific contributions

Monisha Nayar-Akhtar
Hillary Clinton

Victoria Schreiber
No record of specific contributions

Penny M Freedman
Sundry Democrats, Hillary Clinton, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

Merton Shill
Hillary Clinton

Helen K. Gediman
No record of specific contributions

Michael Kowitt
Hillary Clinton, DNC

Leonard Glass
Behold, the list’s lone GOP supporter! Except his money went to Trump’s GOP foe, John McCain

Oh, and there is one other item of easily found background information that McGeough might have laid before his short-changed readers. It concerns his quoting of “Rick Wilson, a Republican Party strategist and Trump critic.”

“Critic” isn’t the half of it, as a CNN profile makes clear. What it also spells out is that Wilson has “has informal ties to Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s networks”. In other words, two of the contenders Trump took to pieces in the primaries.

There is a good chance the Western Bulldogs will win this year’s AFL premiership, just as they did last year. Were McGeough a sports writer and applying the same standards he brings to US politics, we could expect him to quote a prominent football figure as guaranteeing that result without identifying his source as Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge.

As columnist Day notes in The Australian, the Sydney Morning Herald now sells just 93,000 copies on any given weekday, while the Age cannot manage even that pitiful tally, its Monday-to-Friday circulation now standing at 88,000 and dropping fast. They are shocking numbers, testaments to bad management and worse journalism.

If Fairfax intends to persist with its ink-and-paper editions, as the company recently said it will, one way to regain readers and their trust might be to insist that star correspondents actually do a little more in the way of research than re-writing the Washington Post and New York Times.

Roger Franklin, a former Fairfax correspondent in the US, is the editor of Quadrant Online